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Thailand: highest number of women in leadership

Nupur Lanjekar

11th October 2020

Thailand has a higher percentage of women working in leadership positions at both the Asia Pacific and overall global levels. As reported in NWEC, in Thailand's mid-market businesses or corporations, women hold 32% of senior management or leadership positions, higher than 27 per cent globally, and 26 per cent on the Asia Pacific level. The part most dominated by women in Thailand is of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), making Thailand the country with the highest percentage of female CFOs in the world. Under the Conviction on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1985, the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) in 1995 has significantly ensured equality for women through these legal ramifications.

A woman employee, wearing a mask and face shield, works at a mall in Bangkok (Source: Moderndiplomacy)

Thailand has laid out the best policies for its women. The country shows real progression in women empowerment and women's economic empowerment, Although the rural areas (mostly southern Thailand) remain affected with high poverty, discrimination, and exploitation rates amongst women remain significantly high. According to the Association for the Promotion of the Status of Women, discriminatory practices against women still exist in many rural areas in Thailand, such as employment practices, unfair conduct of womenfolk workers, and admission to resources, as mentioned in Asia Pacific. More specifically, there is a lack of policy to promote economic empowerment and access to financial facilities to underprivileged women sets. Several women in rural areas do not have access to the technology ergo under the 20-year master plan, Thailand aims at maximizing digital technology in all sorts of socio-economic groups. Privatization has made it difficult for people with a lack of technical knowledge or a lack of access to technology or digital platforms to get economically stable jobs. Thailand was a country known for its poverty. Still, Thailand has successfully transitioned into an upper-middle-income state due to its positive reinforcements in gender equality and women's economic empowerment.

According to Asia Pacific, in Southern Thailand, with support from The Foundation's Lotus Circle, The Asia Foundation is applying the Aflateen program to build financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills among teenage girls and young women who live in an environment of prolonged battle in Thailand's southern border provinces. The syllabus is made-to-order specifically for the adolescent development stage, conveying financial literacy, imparting a community service philosophy, and reassuring young people to question the world around them. Through work with our local partner, the Nusantara Foundation, we led the training of trainers in southern Thailand to surge the capacity of 24 women staff and one male staff member to deliver the Aflateen program. The trainers are nominated by local establishments dedicated to refining women and youth's lives in southern Thailand, including several CSOs and government organizations such as the Office of Non-Formal Education. The Aflateen training program builds the capacity and confidence of young women whose economic prospects are otherwise limited by a sub-national conflict environment.

Thailand has some very well-defined policies for its women that help eradicate gender-based discrimination and the development in economic empowerment, especially their rural woman, which has helped the country in overall economic growth and development of the country.

News Sources: Asia Pacific, Asia Foundation, NWEC

Edited by Sanskriti Airon

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